~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday October 11, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Voting on the Free Trade Deals Likely on Wednesday
-- Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans Need to be in Place on Many Farms and Ranches- Right Away!
-- National Farmers Union Releases Overview of 2012 Farm Bill
-- OSU's Dr. Derrell Peel says USDA Data Mission is More Vital than Ever
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Names John Wiscaver VP of Public Affairs
-- In Wheat Country- It Rains and KC Wheat Futures Go Higher
-- Downgrade the Drought, Prayers for Dr. Tom and FFA Countdown
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Voting on the Free Trade Deals Likely on Wednesday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tomorrow, Wednesday, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are expected to vote on U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. The American Soybean Association is urging Congress to swiftly pass the implementing legislation so the FTAs may enter into force as soon as possible.
To make sure all goes well, ASA is soliciting active grassroots
support. In an ASA action alert, soybean growers are being asked to
contact Members of Congress as soon as possible before Wednesday's vote
and emphasize the need for passage of the pending U.S. trade
Another group that released a statement in favor of ratification of the Free Trade Deals- the Dairy Farmers of America. John Wilson, Senior Vice President for the Dairy Farmers of America said in a Monday statement- "These agreements offer significant opportunity for U.S. dairy producers, providing an estimated benefit of more than $400 million a year. Specifically, according to an economic impact analysis released by the National Milk Producers Federation, the South Korea agreement would benefit U.S. dairy producers by $380 million per year in both increased exports and increased domestic prices. Additionally, that same study estimates the Colombia and Panama agreements together would add $50 million annually to the U.S. dairy sector." Click here for the full DFA statement.
In contrast- only two ag groups that we have seen have released negative statements about passing the FTAs- one is the National Farmers Union- which came out last week- the other that was released on Monday came from none other than R-Calf USA. Their top hired hand, Bill Bullard, wrote a letter to Congress blasting away at the Obama Administration on trade in general and these FTAs in particular- "The U.S. is operating without a national trade policy and the U.S. cattle industry is suffering as a result, with billions of dollars being drained each year. Consequently, rural communities across America are being hollowed out and President Obama's three new FTAs will only accelerate Rural America's demise."
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans Need to be in Place on Many Farms and Ranches- Right Away!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Environmental Protection Agency is just days away from potentially cracking down on individual farmers and ranchers when it comes to the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure rules (SPCC for short), which is based off of the 40 Federal Code of Regulations and is the Clean Water Act. While the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1974, farmers and ranchers now face a deadline that is not likely to be backed up again- that deadline to have a SPCC plan in place is November 10, 2011.
Caitlin Adams, Chief Information Officer for the group One Resource Environmental, says the they are working to help those in the agricultural industry prepare for these regulations, including making comprehensive SPCC plans. However, some producers can have self-certified SPCC plans depending on how much fuel storage is on their property.
Adams says overall, for the SPCC rule there is a threshold for fuel storage. The bottom of that threshold is 1,320 gallons of a fuel source, like diesel, gasoline, hydraulic oil, waste oil or even vegetable oil, such as corn or peanut oil. Adams says what the government has done that benefits agriculture is added a ceiling of 10,000 gallons of fuel storage to that threshold.
If a producer is between the threshold of 1, 320 gallons to 10,000
gallons, they have the option of developing a self-certified SPCC plan.
This is different than other industries where producers have to have a
SPCC plan that is designed by a professional engineer regardless of the
amount of fuel storage says Adams.
National Farmers Union Releases Overview of 2012 Farm Bill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Farmers Union has issued a white paper giving its overview of the 2012 Farm Bill. The organization says the next farm bill will likely face intense scrutiny by Congress as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction examines ways to achieve unprecedented levels of deficit reduction.
NFU says risk management must be made economical for all farmers, regardless of crop or geographic region. The next farm bill should use the funding from and combine parts of the SURE, Average Crop Revenue Election, countercyclical and direct payment programs. Mandatory disaster assistance should be improved so payments are reflective of actual market prices.
Farm bill programs should maintain the ability to effectively and efficiently help agriculture provide natural resource conservation and renewable energy benefits. Working lands programs must be given priority when considering funding levels.
NFU supports maintaining an energy title including the Rural Energy for America Program, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, and the Biorefinery Assistance Program.
OSU's Dr. Derrell Peel says USDA Data Mission is More Vital than Ever
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. agriculture is in the midst of the most significant structural changes in two generations. Record crop and livestock prices are testament to increased demand for agricultural resources. According to Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, changes in the values of various crop and forage alternatives, combined with regional changes in feed availability are resulting in significant regional shifts in crop and livestock production that are only just beginning and will continue for many years. Agricultural markets, like no time in history, are characterized by extreme volatility and dynamics. Producers in all regions are struggling to sort out market incentives and allocate agricultural resources according to new and changing demands; policymakers and industry leaders are struggling to understand new market environments and policy implications and alternatives; and consumers are concerned about food security and rising food prices. Arguably, the need for agricultural data has never been greater.
Dr. Peel goes on to note that the fiscal woes of this country are causing a lot of heartburn when it comes to budget cutbacks on the collecting of data- it simply is not a priority to many lawmakers who are looking for "easy" places to save money. Click here for the rest of Dr. Peel's commentary as he expresses his concern about making sure we have the data we need to function in the agricultural community.
Speaking of Dr. Peel, he talked with the folks at Kansas State on Monday morning for their regular radio and internet streamed show- Agriculture Today- and we will be sharing some of his comments from that show the next couple of days on our Beef Buzz show that is heard on the Radio Oklahoma Network. Click on the LINK below for our Tuesday Beef Buzz- as we hear from Derrell on this past week's cattle market and the current supplies of cattle moving through the market pipeline.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Names John Wiscaver VP of Public Affairs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~John Wiscaver has been named Vice President of Public Affairs for Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies.
Wiscaver joins Farm Bureau after working in Oklahoma government affairs and media relations for State Farm insurance since 2000. As part of his work, Wiscaver oversaw State Farm's media and external catastrophe response operations for the Midwest region and coordinated several major events including Hurricane Katrina, numerous severe storms in Oklahoma and the recent Joplin, Mo. tornado.
"With over twenty years of experience in the insurance industry, John brings a new, fresh perspective, unique talents and a proven track record to move our organization forward," said Monica Wilke, Executive Director for Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies. "We are committed to continue building on our position as the leading domestic insurance company in Oklahoma. Our management team has the utmost respect and confidence in John's ability to achieve the goals of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and its affiliated companies."
"I am humbled and honored to be joining Oklahoma Farm Bureau's team," Wiscaver said. "It is my goal to build upon the great tradition our members, agents and employees have built over the past 65 years. I look forward to leading our public affairs efforts and growing our business in the Oklahoma insurance marketplace."
In Wheat Country- It Rains and KC Wheat Futures Go Higher
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wheat futures during the electronic trade Sunday night and early Monday morning went higher on the Kansas City Board of Trade, despite the significant rainfall that should be beneficial to the establishment of the 2012 Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop.
During the trading session on Monday- the ag futures bounced around and
Kansas City wheat contracts finished with modest gains at settlement
yesterday afternoon. Any pressure from optimism in the HRW belt when it
comes to planting the 2012 crop seemed to be outweighed by the positive
day the equity market had, with the Dow Jones Industrials gaining 330
We discussed the short term impact of these rains on Kansas City Wheat Futures trade with Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the Q&A with Tom.
Downgrade the Drought, Prayers for Dr. Tom and FFA Countdown
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Gary McManus- our Associate State Climatologist, says that he will be providing input from this past weekend's rains to the Drought Monitor folks- and he thinks that in the areas where we got the most rain- we could see a downgrade in drought ratings from "exceptional" to perhaps "severe" for some of Oklahoma. We'll know in a couple of days.
Our prayers this morning go to Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn who has announced that he has prostrate cancer- in fact, had surgery yesterday to deal with it. Expectations are for a full recovery- and that is what we are hopeful for.
We are a week away from the 2011 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis- and we are getting excited about landing in the middle of 50,000 FFA youth for several days next week. There are some great young men and ladies who will be representing Oklahoma in national competition- Stephen Tillinghast is our 2011 National Officer Candidate- Stephen is from the Owasso Chapter- and while he was never a state officer, he bested a couple of past state officers back in June in the competition to represent Oklahoma in the process. Stephen is an impressive young man- has a real love of FFA and is getting his shot starting this weekend in Indy to follow in the footsteps of Oklahoma FFA member Riley Pagett of Woodward- who is the National President of the FFA and will be in the spotlight this coming week- and we'll be there to cover things for you- our coverage is made possible by support from the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association and the Oklahoma FFA Association. Click here for a listing of many of the young people who will be representing Oklahoma at the National meeting this coming week.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers ,One Resource Environmental- operators of FarmSPCC.Com, and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis- FREE!
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $11.56 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $11.62 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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